Packaging design guidelines

Here you can find all information on how to create and submit best quality print-ready designs. We help you save time and avoid trouble.

There are 2 ways to submit your design for print:

Send in a full dieline design

If you have Adobe Illustrator installed on your computer, you can follow the guidelines below to create a print-ready design very quick.

Guidelines to full dieline design

Send in a mockup

If you don’t have Illustrator, you can send us a mockup along with your logo and other files (svg or png) and we help you make your design print-ready.

How to make a quick mockup

Send in a mockup

On most of pdf reader software, you can add png files on documents.

Once you have received the dieline pdf from us, you can quickly make a mockup of your packaging design.


If you use Preview software on Mac OS, follow the steps below to add image files on the dieline:

  1. Open the image you want to paste in Preview.app
  2. Select all (Command-A)
  3. Copy (Command-C)
  4. Paste (Command-V)

  5. Now you have a copy of your image pasted above your old image. This is apparently meaningless, but the new copy is not just an image, but an object.

  6. Click on the new image (round blue corners appear, no marching ants)
  7. Copy (Command-C)
  8. Paste on your PDF document.

  9. The image is an object, moveable and resizable. The original PDF is still a PDF, editable and all.



If you use Adobe Acrobat Reader on Microsoft OS or Mac OS, follow the steps below to add image files on the dieline:

First select “Edit Object tool”:

Tools > Content > Edit Object

Then right-click and select "Place image" to select the image.

You can then move and resize to suit your needs.

See the dieline sides and where they correspond to on a closed version:

Turn on subtitles for detailed instructions

Send in a full dieline

Ready for print immediately

1- Download

Find the dieline files for each product you have ordered at the last checkout step and download.

Follow the instructuctions below to submit a perfect dieline to have the best results out of printing.


Download an example dieline

2- Design

Document setup

Once you have downloaded the file, open it on Adobe Illustrator (You may also use Affinity Publisher but we highly recommend Adobe Illustrator).

Set your document color mode to CMYK.


More info on color types and CMYK

How to get Adobe Illustrator

Dieline orientation

Sides

You can see the parts of the dieline corresponding to the sides at its closed state.

Depending on your printing choice, you may receive one or two download links at the checkout:

  • Single sided print: 1 pdf for outside printli>
  • Double sided print: 2 pdfs: 1 for outside, 1 for inside print.

Layers

There are several layers in the file. Each of them are used for different purposes. You will add your design files on the “Your design” layer.

  • Mask: Layer containing a mask for more visible artwork.
  • Dieline: Our dieline, please don't delete this layer. Hiding is okay though.
  • Your design: This is where you work with your design
  • Instruction: This layer contains tips and recommendations.

Design requirements

Text

The text should be 8 pt or higher.

Convert text to outlines

Converting text to outlines will save us trouble in case we need to open up your file

Graphics

Keep in mind that vector graphics works better than raster graphics.

Images

If you are printing pixel images, (e.g. photograph), make sure it's 300 dpi or higher.

Color modes

Use any CMYK combination but be aware that our vendors don't print Pantone or RGB colors

Lines

Lines should be at least 0.5 pt wide.

Bleeds

Our recommended bleed is 5 mm. Just follow the mask layer in the document.

What is bleed?

Margins

Make sure that your critical elements are 8 mm away from any side edges

* Non-photo content such as graphics and text should be vector-based files (e.g. vectored AI, PDF, or EPS). JPG and PNG graphics/text are not recommended unless they are of photos.

** Colors can shift depending on your chosen material.Kraft is the perfect way to go if you're printing dark, bolder or white colors. However, the Kraft material has a brown tint of its own, which affects the print intensity of some colors. If your design contains light colors we recommend white paperboard. When printing white make a new spot color (100% saturated) and make sure to name it "White Ink".

Saving

Save your final design in one of the following formats:

  • Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
  • PDF (.pdf) that is layered and editable in Adobe Illustrator.

*We recommend saving the file as Adobe PDF/X-4:2010. Save the document with the dimensions of the artboard, without registration or bleed marks. Additionally, please choose “Press quality” when saving.

3- Submit

  • Send your design-applied dielines to
    submit-design@circulate8.com
  • Also, add your special preferences if you have any.
  • Please submit the files within 7 days after you have placed the order.

*If you don’t submit any design files within 4 business days, we will contact you to remind you that you must submit design files. If we haven’t received any customized dielines from you for your orders that include custom print within 10 days, we cancel your order for those that include custom print. Please read Terms of Service for more information

If you have any questions regarding design, please email our designer: eralp.erol@circulate8.com, or drop us a line via chat

Watch a full tutorial

Turn on subtitles for detailed instructions